Programme Guide

“I wished to transcribe Mallarmé’s poetry into music,” Maurice Ravel professed in his Autobiographical Sketch, “especially that preciosity so full of meaning and so characteristic of him. ‘Surgi de la croupe et du bond’ is the strangest, if not the most hermetic of his sonnets.” And in fact in 1913 the composer did set Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé to music; “Surgi de la croupe et du bond” is the third in the series, and the musical rendering proves utterly on a par with the poem’s word magic. Together with members of the Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, Magdalena Kožená present Ravel’s rarely heard song cycle, in which tonality sometimes ceases to apply.

The evening concludes with two compositions by Luciano Berio: the no less virtuoso Sequenza III for female voice, and Laborintus II for voices, instruments and tape, a work that can be presented as a theatrical event, tale, allegory, documentation, dance play, etc.

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